This newsletter is part of the project titled, “Local Access Networks: Can the unconnected connect themselves?” developed by APC in partnership with Internet Society and Rhizomática, with support from Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It is republished here on Rising Voices as part of a partnership with APC. Click here to see the original post on APC's website.
1. Events and conferences
- The Africa Internet Summit is taking place from 9 to 21 June in Kampala, Uganda. Read more here and here.
- Access Now’s RightsCon programme has been released, announcing the event taking place from 11 to 14 June in Tunis, and includes many sessions on community networks, detailed below. Read more. – Community networks: Concept, regulations and action. Read more.
– Widening the spectrum: How can radio spectrum regulation advance community networks. Read more.
– Making regulatory waves: A discussion on the need for collaborative spectrum management policy development. Read more.
– Data security: It ain’t your fault, but it is your fight, by Detroit Community Technology Project/Our Data Bodies Project.
– Community networks: How we build a truly free and open internet, by People’s Open Network.
– Public access, local connectivity, libraries: How they can work together and democratise access to the internet.
- Applications for the IPFS Camp are are now open for the first time ever! Builders of the Distributed Web will gather in Barcelona from 27 to 30 June for three action-packed days of workshops (featuring brand new @ProtoSchool content!), hacking and deep dives. Read more here and here and follow #IPFS #libp2p #Dweb.
- Open until 30 June 2019: Call for applications for travel support to attend the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2019 #IGF2019 (Berlin, 25-29 November). The IGF is an annual global multistakeholder platform of the United Nations that facilitates the discussion of public policy issues pertaining to the internet. Read more.
- The conference on wireless networks and open source software, Battlemesh v12, has been announced and will be held at “Le 6B”, 6-10 Quai de Seine, 93200 Saint-Denis, France (very close to Paris) from 8 to 14 July. It will bring together people from across the globe who are interested in community networks, including wireless mesh network technologies, fibre infrastructure, do-it-yourself internet access providers, and more generally how to create and maintain a thriving community of people involved in building their own networks. You can ask for travel assistance in the registration form. Read more.
- DWeb Camp, taking place this 18-21 July, is a retreat for those who want to create a decentralised web where our values are baked into the code, and a place where diverse people can freely exchange ideas about the technologies, laws, markets and agreements we need to move forward. Read more.
- [En español] Mujeres interesadas en participar de la Conferencia Latinity 2019 pueden optar por una beca que cubre los viáticos para la participación del evento. Leer más.
- The next Offline Camp will take place 2-5 August. If you are excited about the #OfflineFirst approach to development/design, we want to see you there! Read more.
- [En español] El evento de Foro de Gobernanza de Internet para Latinoamérica y el Caribe este año será en La Paz, Bolivia, del 5 al 9 de agosto. Leer más.
- Our Networks is a conference taking place in Toronto from 20 to 22 September, focused on all aspects of the decentralized web – from mesh networking to p2p applications to commons governance. The theme for this year is RE: Infrastructures, channelling all your imaginings about what kind of infrastructures (of regeneration, of repair, of resistance, and of refusal) can best serve our communities as we move forward in solidarity and hopefulness. Topics could include, but are in no way limited to: practices of reparative networking, remediation practices for communication infrastructures, uncooptable computing reconfigurations, reconstructing technology after refusal, and regenerative approaches that resist status quo tech. Read more.
2. Resources from past events
- The APC community actively participated in the 2019 Stockholm Internet Forum, where it organised and co-organised a number of events. Read more. The videos of the two days of the event are available here and here.
- Carlos Rey-Moreno, Josephine Miliza and Michuki Mwangi gave a webinar on community networks for the ISOC Nigeria Chapter. Read more here and watch here.
3. Gendering community networks
4. Community networks in news and blogs
- [En español] En México, el ente recaudador congeló las cuentas bancarias de la red comunitaria TIC A.C. en el medio de un incendio, dejando a todas las comunidades incomunicadas, por litigios ya resueltos sobre reclamos injustos de pagos impositivos. Leer más.
- US regulation may allow the use of rural Wi-Fi boosters to extend connectivity, and this could be one change that enables community network growth. This article shares some examples of Wi-Fi and fibre initiatives. Read more.
- The ISOC Nigeria Chapter is supporting the Zaria Community Network and Culture Hub. They published a report of the plan for the year and now they are sharing their progress. Read more. The Internet Society Foundation featured them in their blog here.
- Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific of the Internet Society, shares an overview of the Community Networks Exchange held last year. Read more.
- [En español] El Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones de Colombia (MinTIC) y Colnodo iniciaron el proyecto que promoverá las telecomunicaciones sociales rurales comunitarias en las poblaciones del Ceral y El Porvenir, ubicadas en el municipio de Buenos Aires (Cauca). Leer más.
- Interference Archive explores the relationship between cultural production and social movements. They recently interviewed NYCMesh, FunkFeuer, and Rhizomatica to explore the concept of community networks and how they work in different parts of the world. Read more.
- Nic Bidwell presented “Decolonising in the gaps: Community networks and the identity of African innovation” at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. Watch here.
- Rising Voices republished the chapter on Italian community network Ninux featured in the 2018 GISWatch report. Read more.
- The Internet Society’s Rural Connectivity Special Interest Group was created and streamed its first meeting. Watch here.
- [En español] Charla impartida por Peter Bloom sobre su experiencia investigando las implicaciones sociales de la tecnología 5G en América Latina. Leer más.
- In this podcast, Rob McMahon, co-founder of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, tells us how some indigenous communities are finding their own connectivity solutions. Listen here.
- When communities get together to deal with a shared need such as connectivity, the cohesion created by working together inspires a collective approach to other problems. The Lawrencetown Cooperative is now tackling healthcare. Read more.
- Tribes across US push for better internet access. Read more.
- Geomeo Informatics is supporting communities in South India to grow their own community networks. Read more here and here.
- Bruce Buffalo knew that without internet connectivity, he and his neighbours would be cut off from vital educational, employment and health resources online. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands and created Mamawapowin, a free Wi-Fi network. Katie Watson of the Internet Society spoke with Bruce recently about how the project started, and what’s coming next. Read more.
5. News on policy and regulation
- Public consultations on ICT national policies are open in Somalia untill 31 May. Read more.
- APC joined Rhizomatica, CIPESA, AfChix, BOSCO Uganda and the Internet Society to contribute a submission to a public consultation on the proposed review of the licensing framework for the telecommunications sector in Uganda. The submission highlights the importance of spectrum set-asides, secondary use, removing authorisation for Wi-Fi use, reducing fees and increasing transparency. You can find the full submission here.
- The Competition Commission of South Africa has released its provisional findings about the high cost of data communications in the country. “This suggests that pricing is limiting the ability of lower income subscribers to make greater use of data services, which in turn restricts the benefits of the digital economy to this class of consumer.” Some of the solutions proposed address spectrum, cost reduction, infrastructure sharing and community networks, among others. The Competition Commission is receiving written comments to their preliminary analysis until 14 June 2019. Read more.
- [En español] El ente regulador de telecom de Argentina asigna la banda de 450Mhz para servicios de banda ancha rurales. Estas frecuencias permiten mayores potencias y tienen mejor cobertura en zonas rurales, por lo que reducen los costes y facilitan el despliegue y mantenimiento de infraestructura tanto a proveedores rurales como a redes comunitarias. Leer más.
- Ottawa looking at providing cash for rural areas to set up their own internet providers. Read more.
- @Airtel_Ug is the first mobile network in Africa to publish an open data map of their towers, following the example of their parent company in India. Read more.
- [En español] En un país donde sus redes comunitarias son reconocidas a nivel global y ejemplo de modelo para otros paises, el gobierno Mexicano toma otro camino y creará una empresa estatal para dotar de internet a todo el país. Leer más.
- [En español] “Otorgaremos servicios de Telecomunicaciones a zonas rurales. Para ello, se desplegarán redes comunitarias de Internet sin fines de lucro a 127 mil hogares, los mismos que accederán al servicio con tarifas reducidas”, anuncia @caanmichelena, Ministro de @Telecom_Ec Ecuador. Leer más.
- [En español] Fundación Karisma, a través del periódico El Tiempo, hace eco de la temática de redes comunitarias en Colombia, donde se encuentran en proceso de revisión de la ley TIC que regula las telecomunicaciónes. Leer más.
- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in the context of their Connectivity for Refugees project, has opened a call for interest for researchers to provide a comprehensive outlook on connectivity, from different angles and different perspectives, to understand how connectivity intersects with other domains and fields. Read more.
- Hasan, S., Barela, M. C., Johnson, M., Brewer, E., & Heimerl, K. (2019). Scaling Community Cellular Networks with CommunityCellularManager. In 16th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 19), p. 735-750. Pre-print copy available here.
- Maillé, P., Tuffin, B., Peignier, J., & Varloot, E. (2019). Pricing of Coexisting Cellular and Community Networks. In Network Games, Control, and Optimization, p. 1-16. Birkhäuser, Cham. Pre-print copy available here.
- Maccari, L. (2019). Detecting and Mitigating Points of Failure in Community Networks: A Graph-Based Approach. IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems, 6(1), p. 103-116. No link to pre-print version.
- Mitchell, M., & Siebörger, I. (2019). Building a national network through peered community area networks: Realising ICTs within developing countries. In 2019 Conference on Information Communications Technology and Society (ICTAS), p. 1-5. IEEE. No link to pre-print version.
- Connecting the Unconnected: Towards Frugal 5G Network Architecture and Standardization. Read more.
- MachaWorks is referenced in communal thinking when doing research. Read more.
- [En español] REDES y Rhizomatica iniciaron CITSAC, el Centro de Investigación en Tecnologías y Saberes Comunitarios, un espacio de producción de conocimiento propio, creación de capacidades e incidencia política que promueve y refuerza procesos de comunicación y telecomunicaciones comunitarias e indígenas en el mundo. Entre sus lineas de trabajo incluye conectividad en zonas apartadas y autonomía tecnológica. Leer más.
7. Reports and publications
- Yes Magazine shares in a very simple comic a research study that shows how small talk and casual connections create happy communities and less-lonely individuals, which is a characteristic of life as part of community network initiatives. Read more with Susan Pinker, The Village Effect, here.
- [En español] ¿Qué tan saludable es internet? Este informe de Mozilla recién traducido al español comparte una recopilación de investigaciones e historias de 2019 que explican qué es clave para una internet más saludable, a través de cinco temas que van desde experiencias personales a asuntos globales. Leer más.
- AfterAccess is uniquely positioned to disrupt the current narratives of homogeneity in mobile and internet access and use, to illustrate the multifaceted challenges faced by the developing world, and to identify precise points of policy intervention. Read more.
- Research ICT Africa’s After Access report for Africa (2018) is available. Within its recommendations, it states that “complementary regulatory and delivery strategies will be required to enable different types of services to be offered by different kinds of operators, and there is a need (…) to standardize the process and frequency of collecting data; to stipulate what data needs to be publicly available and what information from the public and private sectors should remain confidential; and to define the format in which data needs to be presented.” Read more.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has established an agenda of universal connectivity for refugees, and sets out how that agenda could be achieved, focusing on access, adoption and use of connectivity. Read more.
- The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is a key tool to promote internet rights in the region. This platform was created for rights advocates to engage with the Declaration by sharing resources and to give greater visibility to internet rights in Africa. Visit and read more.
- SDG Digital Investment Framework: A Whole-of-Government Approach to Investing in Digital Technologies to Achieve the SDGs. Read more.
- In “Beyond internet access: seeking knowledge justice online,” Kira Allman and Anasuya Sengupta say that a human rights-based approach to the internet must look beyond issues of access towards questions of online knowledge equality and equity. Read more.
8. Articles on technologies related to local access networks
- A4AI's deputy director challenges 5G’s capacity to close the digital divide, and proposes regulation changes to make sure they don’t leave anyone behind. Read more.
- [En español] Facebook se alió con Hughes, banda ancha satelital, para crear puntos de conexión inalámbricos en México y Brasil. Esta acción tiene un gran impacto en la privacidad de quienes usan la red. Leer más aquí y aquí.
- People technology, an article about how it is better to work together. Read more.
9. Technological developments related to community networks
- The Google Summer of Code supports the development of open source projects by funding students’ work on open source during their summer vacations. This year it is supporting several community network-related technologies. Read more.
- Local-first software: You own your data, in spite of the cloud. Read more.
10. Funding opportunities
- The ISIF Asia 2019 Internet for Development Award will be granted to one organisation that supports research and development of software and/or hardware solutions to improve the stability and reliability of how internet infrastructure is powered. The deadline for applications is 30 May. Read more.
- The Orange Seed Funding for Social Venture prize aims to reward the best innovative and socially responsible business projects in Africa and the Middle East. The deadline for applications is 30 May. Read more.
- The Mozilla Fellowship programme will be focusing on core internet infrastructure in the global South, seeking developers who can help bring the unconnected online – roughly four billion users in the global South and remote locations. Applications are being accepted until 30 May. Read more.
- Until 31 May, @FIREAfrica is accepting award proposals for projects that use ICTs to drive change and development to marginalised groups or disadvantaged communities. Read more.
- CIPESA has established the Africa Digital Rights Fund (ADRF) to offer flexible and rapid response grants to select initiatives in Africa to implement activities that advance digital rights, including advocacy, litigation, research, policy analysis, digital literacy and digital security skills building. The deadline for applications is 31 May. Read more.
- Until 1 June, the Shuttleworth Foundation is accepting applications for fellowships that help people implement innovative ideas for social change. They are most interested in exceptional ideas at the intersection between technology, knowledge and learning, with openness being the key requirement. Read more.
- Until June 2, applications are being accepted for D-Prize, which funds new entrepreneurs who increase access to proven poverty reduction interventions. It includes girls’ education, energy, education, infrastructure, and other themes. Up to USD 20,000 is available for pilots in any region where extreme poverty exists. Read more.
- The Global Citizen Award supports projects working on global issues defined by the UN. The call for nominations is open until June 5. Read more.
- The GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund promotes innovation in the use of mobile technology to address humanitarian challenges. Applications for the next funding round will be accepted until June 7. Read more.
- The Takeda Foundation targets young entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial individuals who challenge technological or social needs in the real world. The call for applications or nominations for the 2019 Takeda Young Entrepreneurship Award is open until 28 June. Read more.
- The Social Justice Fund makes grants for grassroots activist projects, giving priority to those with small budgets and little access to more mainstream funding sources. They focus on confronting institutionalised repression against racial, ethnic, gender-based, and LGBTQ communities, support progressive workers movements and the eradication of poverty, among others. The Next Social Justice Fund application deadline is 8 July. Read more.
- During 2019 Google has opened a call for policy fellowships in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the US and Latin America. Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organisations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and creativity, consumer privacy, open government, government surveillance, data security, data innovation, free expression and more. Read more.
- The Ford Foundation’s JustFilms supports artist-driven film and new media storytelling projects that explore aspects of inequality, as well as the organisations and networks that support these projects. Read more.
- Her Abilities is the first global award that honours women with disabilities who have achieved greatness in their life and field of work. Read more.